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Health Summit: Nancy Pelosi Reminds Obama About His Support for Public Option

Speaker Pelosi used her closing comment at today’s Health Care Reform Summit to remind the President that he once claimed to support the public option.

She then calls out Reps. Boehner and Camp on their misstatments.

Speaker Pelosi:

Mr. President, I harken back to that meeting a year ago. At that time, Senator Grassley questioned you about the public option.

And you said the public option is one way to keep the insurance companies honest and to increase competition. If you have a better way, put it on the table.

Well, I bring that up because we have come such a long way….As a representative of the House of Representatives, I want you to know that we were there that day in support of a public option which would save $120 billion, keep the insurance companies honest, and increase competition.

She closes with this:

Yes, it’s hard to do this. The misrepresentation campaign that has gone on about these bills, it’s a wonder anybody would support them, as Mr. Waxman said. But the fact is, as the President said, many of these provisions on their own are largely supported by the American people.

So this will take courage to do. Social Security was hard. Medicare was hard. Health care for all Americans, insurance reform is hard. But we will get it done.

And as we leave this debate, I think that many of the differences that we have are complicated, and they’re legitimate. They’re differences of opinion about the role of government and the rest. But I think it’s really clear on one point that the American people understand very clearly: They understand that there should be an end to discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

The proposals that we have put forth end discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions. The Republican bill does not.

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Health Summit: Nancy Pelosi Reminds Obama About His Support for Public Option

Speaker Pelosi used her closing comment at today’s Health Care Reform Summit to remind the President that he once claimed to support the public option.

She then calls out Reps. Boehner and Camp on their misstatments.

Speaker Pelosi:

Mr. President, I harken back to that meeting a year ago. At that time, Senator Grassley questioned you about the public option.

And you said the public option is one way to keep the insurance companies honest and to increase competition. If you have a better way, put it on the table.

Well, I bring that up because we have come such a long way….As a representative of the House of Representatives, I want you to know that we were there that day in support of a public option which would save $120 billion, keep the insurance companies honest, and increase competition.

She closes with this:

Yes, it’s hard to do this. The misrepresentation campaign that has gone on about these bills, it’s a wonder anybody would support them, as Mr. Waxman said. But the fact is, as the President said, many of these provisions on their own are largely supported by the American people.

So this will take courage to do. Social Security was hard. Medicare was hard. Health care for all Americans, insurance reform is hard. But we will get it done.

And as we leave this debate, I think that many of the differences that we have are complicated, and they’re legitimate. They’re differences of opinion about the role of government and the rest. But I think it’s really clear on one point that the American people understand very clearly: They understand that there should be an end to discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

The proposals that we have put forth end discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions. The Republican bill does not.

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley